FAQ: Questions About Your Dentists, Teeth And Dental Health

Why should I consider a custom mouth guard? 

When playing sports, a mouth guard provides protection for your teeth. Custom mouth guards are appropriate for children, teens and adults and should be considered for both high impact, as well as low impact sports. In addition to protecting your teeth, they can prevent other injury, protect braces if you wear them and even help prevent concussions. And while you might think an inexpensive store bought mouth guard that you boil and bit will do the trick, there is no comparison to the fit and protection you receive with a custom mouth guard such as Under Armour mouthguards. 

Why do my teeth get “yellow”?

There are a variety of reasons your teeth may appear less than "white". It is natural for our teeth to darken over time, and this darkening is made worse by coffee, tea, red wine and smoking. Regular teeth cleaning will remove some of the surface stains, but often teeth whitening is required to restore a sparkling, white smile. Keep in mind that crowns and fillings will not whiten, so if they are visible teeth whitening may not be the best option for you.

Why do I need fluoride? 

Fluoride is an element that incorporates itself into tooth enamel to make it stronger and more resistant to decay. Some people don't need fluoride as much as others if they grew up in a community with a fluoridated water supply. The Lower Mainland does not have a fluoridated water supply. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control listed fluoride as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. 

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a revolutionary new way to straighten teeth. Teeth are straightened using a series of plastic aligners that are changed every few weeks. Invisalign eliminates the need for braces, making it easier to keep teeth clean and most people won't even notice you are wearing them. Invisalign is not for every patient. Ask your dentist if it will be suitable for your case.;

My teeth seem fine. Why should I see a dentist if I feel fine?

It is important to see your dentist to identify problems before they happen. Even though you may not have pain or any problems, only a dentist can spot potential future issues. By preventing future problems with regular check-ups and cleanings, you lessen the possibility of needing more extensive procedures and have a healthier smile. 

I have some teeth missing. I heard of dental implants. What are they?

Implants are essentially titanium coated screws that are placed into the jaw bone and fitted with a tooth crown on top. Not everyone is a suitable candidate for implants so it is important to discuss this with your dentist. There are also other possible treatments for missing teeth including dentures and bridges. 

I was told that I need my wisdom teeth removed. They aren't bothering me so why don't I just leave them?

Most people who have wisdom teeth do not have enough room in their mouths for these teeth. They often become impacted under the gums and in the bone. For some people, the teeth may not cause any problem. Although, just because the teeth are not causing a problem now, it does not mean that they won't be troublesome in the future. For a lot of people, these teeth can cause bone loss on other teeth and infections. It is usually easiest to remove wisdom teeth before you are 25 years old. Every situation is different and it is important to talk to your dentist about what is the right situation for you. 

I have always been afraid of the dentist since I was a child. How can you help alleviate my fear?

Our staff our very kind-hearted and we want to make you feel as comfortable as possible. Our goal is to make you happy as patients. Dentistry has advanced significantly in the past decades and treatment can be delivered in ways that are painless. Most dental pain happens before you come to the office. The goal of the dentist is to relieve you of that pain and have you leave with a smile on your face. 

I am worried about getting x-rays at the dentist because of the radiation. Is this dangerous?

The radiation received from dental x-rays are much lower than you would expect. The radiation level is actually lower than the background radiation you get from the environment. The amount of radiation is reduced by the patients wearing a lead apron which blocks the x-rays from reaching the body. Also, we do our best to take as few films as necessary to receive the diagnostic information we need to provide treatment. It is important that you let us know if you are pregnant, because dental x-rays should not be taken unless absolutely necessary during a pregnancy. 

When should my child first see the dentist?

Ideally, your child should first see the dentist within 6 months of his or her first baby tooth coming into the mouth. At this appointment, we can discuss the child's diet and oral health. Of equal importance, this gets your child accustomed to the dental office setting so it doesn't seem like a scary, foreign place when he or she gets older. 

How painful are root canals?

Contrary to what many people think, root canal treatment is usually not a painful experience. Most people who need root canals are in some pain to begin with, and so they associate that pain with the dentist. Root canal treatment is a way of relieving the pain in an infected, painful tooth so that it can be saved. 

Dental health related to whole body health?

You may have heard on the television that keeping your teeth healthy correlates with keeping the rest of your body healthy. This is very true. People with gum disease are in a constant state of inflammation in their mouths. This inflammation can have effects on the cardiovascular system and can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. There is also evidence that diabetics have better blood sugar controls if they keep their mouths in good health. 

How do I make an appointment?

Please call our office at 604-584-2535 to make an appointment. We are located near the Guildford mall in North Surrey, but serve clients from the surrounding area including Fraser Heights and are open Monday to Saturday, including some evenings.

Contact Riverside Heights Dental Clinic for dental assistance.